teacher development

15 ways I’ve developed as a teacher this year

I’ve had a really busy year. I’ve taught in four different countries since January. They’ve included a quick winter camp in Spain (which was great fun), a short stint back in England, an amazing summer in Vietnam and now Christmas in Bangkok! You can’t beat the life of an EFL teacher!

I’ve certainly learnt a lot this year. Here are a few things I’ve done that have improved me in some way as a teacher. I hope they give you some ideas for professional development. Some of these were motivated by this great post from ELT Experiences, I recommend looking at it for more inspiration! (more…)

Course Review: How to teach IELTS

I recently completed a course on how to prepare students for the IELTS exam. IELTS course
The course was provided by Cambridge English Teacher (CET).

CET is an online professional development platform which currently offers about 20 courses related to teaching, learning and assessment. They range in length and price, with some only costing a few dollars and requiring only 4 hours of study. There are 6 introductory courses covering different exams in the Cambridge suite – each one requires around 25 hours of study time and costs about $15 (depending on your location).

Why did I take this training course?

My lack of exam teaching, along with my lack of experience teaching Very Young Learners, are two big gaps in my teaching CV. Taking this online course showed my new employer that I was committed to developing my skills in this area, and I was given opportunities to observe and teach IELTS courses almost immediately. (more…)

Getting teens to talk

This post outlines my problem-solving techniques, and offers some tips for improving interaction in teen classes.

problems

It’s only a few weeks into term, but I’m revisiting familiar issues with my new teen classes:

Why are they so timid? Why won’t they volunteer answers during class discussion? Why won’t they share ideas when nominated? Why won’t they interact in pairs? Am I putting too much pressure on them so early into the term? How can I stop them speaking together in their L1? Should I always stop them speaking in their L1? (more…)

16 ways to improve your whiteboard work

I had my first lesson observation at the British Council Bangkok the other day. I still have a job, woohoo!

I got some very surprising feedback from my line manager: ‘your board work was a real strength’. Boardwork? Strength?! I did NOT expect that! However, I do think my whiteboard work has improved a bit over the last year for a few reasons. (more…)

Test your knowledge: Second Language Acquisition

Here’s the last of my online quizzes for now, although plenty more will follow as they’re fun to make! This time, Second Language Acquisition (SLA). You’ll find questions covering things like the Accommodation theory, Acculturation Model and Universal Grammar. I hope it helps.

I’ll make a Part 2 to this quiz soon as there’s plenty more to cover. If you have any requests for a particular quiz, just ask.

sla

Reflective practice: creating a self-development record

How do you develop as a teacher? Do you rely on observations from peers or senior staff to tell you what you need to improve on? Do you evaluate and reflect on your own lessons? If so, do you do this informally or formally? Do you find that observing other teachers informs your practice? Do you read any ELT theory books or research articles?

There are plenty of ways I could improve my own teaching, but not all of them are within my control. I was thinking about why I struggle to develop as a teacher, and came up with these reasons: (more…)